This is the year for epic showdowns, as Captain America: Civil War hit theaters this weekend. In it, the iconic superheroes Captain America (Chris Evans) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) gather their forces and battle it out in a war over ideologies. With characters that span multiple franchises from the Marvel film universe, this is one superhero throwdown that cannot be missed. Here is how both sides won support for the movie.
Trailers Win Hearts and Minds
You could argue that Captain America: Civil War won fans over with its first trailer when it hit the scene last November. Although the movie is technically a follow-up to Captain America: The Winter Soldier, this was actually a culmination of three different Marvel franchises that was years in the making: Captain America, Iron Man, and The Avengers. were coming together to battle each other over what happened in previous films, with friends becoming foes, and it wasn’t clear that everyone would come out alive. The trailer, which showed a gravely wounded War Machine (Don Cheadle) sparked a fierce internet debate over the fate of the character. It was the kind of speculation that the movie studio and actors were happy to stoke at talk shows and interviews, even if they couldn’t comment directly about it.
Although the Super Bowl 50 trailer was impressive, the one that really caught the attention of Marvel fans came out a month later, when Spider-man was shown for the first time. It was long speculated that Disney and Marvel were in talks with Sony (which currently owns the Spider-man license) to “borrow” the wall-crawler for Civil War, but having the trailer confirm that it was happening got fans cheering.
It turned out that Spider-man wouldn’t be the last big character reveal, as the inclusion of Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) was revealed at the MTV Movie Awards in April, where a scene showing him as the “new recruit” was shown. Fans were wondering whether the character would appear as an Avenger, especially given how the Ant-Man movie concluded, and they were not disappointed.
Dueling Twitter Accounts
Captain America and Iron Man use more than their fists to fight. The conflict was taken to social media, where the characters used their Twitter accounts to win fans and supporters over to their side. Although both accounts share many of the same content, they’re individually geared to show support for one of the characters before they head out to theaters to see who the ultimate winner will be.
Adding to the fun are sets of emoji, so that fans can show their support (or simply enhance their posts) with individual characters from the film.
The #TeamCap emojis are back! Which one's your favorite? pic.twitter.com/s6zO2o2mkY
— Captain America (@CaptainAmerica) May 5, 2016
The #TeamIronMan emojis are back! Which one's your favorite? pic.twitter.com/qOtjhWRmI3
— Tony Stark (@Iron_Man) May 5, 2016
Fans Take Sides
One of the most impressive social media promotions done for Captain America: Civil War also comes via Twitter. Actors from the movie pre-recorded personal messages to fans who showed support for their favorite team using either the #TeamCap or #TeamIronMan hashtags. These messages used popular names so that the messages, which either congratulated them or showed disappointment in their choice, had a personalized feel to them.
The time is now — let the world know who you stand with. You never know who’s listening… https://t.co/ZOvwuL2Obk
— Captain America (@CaptainAmerica) April 11, 2016
Civil War Goes Global
Although the movie features Captain America, the popularity of the Marvel superhero universe spans the globe. In an apparent battle of one-upmanship, actor Robert Downey Jr. paid a visit to Paris, France. There, he used his Iron Man decorated smartphone to manipulate the lights of the Eiffel Tower so that they changed color and position to show what side the “Iron Lady” stood on.
Not to be outdone, Team Cap fired back with a light show of its own. Chris Evans, Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan attended an event hosted in Singapore and it was complete with a fireworks display and massive projections of the superhero team shown on the tower and structures of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, as a crowd cheered Team Cap on.
Pizza Hut Feeds Fandom
Supporting a side is hunger-inducing work, but an order from Pizza Hut should be enough to fix that. In a promotional partnership between the fast food chain and Captain America: Civil War, pizza boxes will be adorned with artwork featuring either Captain America or Iron Man, which coincides with the inclusion of Stuffed Garlic Knots on the $5 Flavor Menu. Although it’s unclear whether you can request a specific box cover, you can’t go wrong with either one.
Additionally, Pizza launched a Civil War themed digital hub, which features exclusive behind-the-scenes content, a quiz game sweepstakes, and (of course) a chance to choose your favorite side.
A Patriotic Sing-Along
One of the stranger promotions for Civil War comes from Chris Evans’ YouTube account yesterday. Working with Mashable, the actor begins by talking about his character, Captain America. He is then joined by fellow actors from the movie, including Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Anthony Mackie (Falcon), and Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlet Witch), who hum a battle hymn while Sebastian Stan (Winter Soldier) wanders across the background. It’s off-the-wall, patriotic, and sure to get fans psyched for the movie, which is out in theaters now, and pre-orders for the digital home release are already available on the Microsoft Store.